Assessment of damaged attack boat USS Connecticut begins in Guam

Seawolf-class attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) in 2009. US Navy photo

The US nuclear attack boat that struck an underwater object in the South China Sea on October 2 is now in Guam for a preliminary assessment and repairs amid two investigations into the incident, officials confirmed on Sunday from the Navy to USNI News.

USS Connecticut (SSN-22) arrived at Naval Base Guam on Friday after nearly a week of sailing the Pacific surface from the South China Sea.

A damage assessment team from Naval Sea Systems Command met with the Sea Wolf-class attack boat at the pier in Guam, Submarine Force spokesperson Cmdr. Cindy Fields told USNI News.

The NAVSEA team is “responsible for coordinating the damage assessment and developing repair recommendations, which are forwarded to the US Pacific Fleet Submarine Force and NAVSEA for approval,” she said.
“The Puget Sound Shipyard is designated as the Naval Watch Authority for assessment and subsequent temporary repairs. USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) is the main maintenance activity.

In parallel, the U.S. 7th Fleet is leading a command investigation into the incident while COMSUBPAC is conducting a safety investigation, Fields said.

After arriving in Guam, two of the 11 sailors who were injured in the collision were treated ashore and returned to the attack boat.

No further details on what Connecticut affected in the South China Sea have been made public.

Chinese authorities have requested additional details of the incident. USNI News understands that this was not another vessel.

“The United States should clarify in specific details what happened, including the exact location of the incident, the US side’s navigation intent, the details of the incident, the object that the submarine struck, whether the collision caused a nuclear leak or damaged the local marine environment, ”Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said last week.

Navy officials told USNI News on Thursday that “Connecticut The nuclear propulsion plant and the spaces have not been affected and remain fully operational.

Connecticut is one of three Seawolf-class attack submarines. The Bremerton, Washington-based submarine departed in May for a deployment to the Western Pacific and made at least two stops in Japan.

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